Doele and Anatomy


east side of the Verwersdijk

current use: 

now demolished

When Leeuwenhoek was a young man, the City's shooting range was established on the grounds of the old Mary Magdalen convent on the east side of the Verwersdijk across from the Oude Vercke Marckt and Diertien Huijsen. Before the Reformation, Mary Magdalen was one of a dozen convents and monasteries in Delft. During the plague years of 1557-58, it was put into service to supplement the nearby Old Gasthuis, or hospital, and became known as a plague house (pesthuis).

The convent survived the nearby Delftse Donderslag, the gunpowder explosion, in October 1654. However, the city's Doele, or shooting range where the civic guard practiced, was right next to the gunpowder magazine that exploded. During the rebuilding, the city decided to build a new pesthuis on the other side of the Oostsingel and move the Doele to the old pesthuis on the Verwersdijk. The space that had housed nuns and then plague victims became barracks for the civic guard.

In 1660, the mayors authorized payment of ____ gl to Pieter Rijckx for the two stone reliefs above the entrances.

In Boitet's Beschrijving, he devoted a section to each building, the Doele on pages 512-524 and the Anatomie on pages 524-534. The image below, by Jan Verkolje, who drew portraits of Leeuwenhoek, Gravesande, and probably de Graeff, was one of the pictures of important buildings around the edge of the huge Kaart Figuratief of Delft made in the 1670's. A copy was inserted into Boitet's Beschrijving after page 512.

The image below shows an overhead view of the Doele and Anatomie, also from the Kaart Figuratief.

The two images below are additional views of the building.

Before he resigned as camerbewaarder of the magistrate's court, Jan Strick had become the manager of the Doele. He rented the grounds and paid the civic guard. After his death, Gerrit den Appel became manager.

Leeuwenhoek's mentor and friend Dr. Cornelis s'Gravesande gave weekly anatomy lessons in the Anatomie.